Handwritten journals, scrapbooks, set notes, awards, letters and arrest records from comedian George Carlin’s 50-plus year career will soon be displayed at the National Comedy Center, a new museum opening in Jamestown, N.Y., next year. The organization has acquired Carlin’s personal archive, and as part of the announcement, released one of the performer’s previously unheard routines.
“George Carlin helped redefine the art form of stand-up comedy and we are honored to help steward his legacy in this way,” Journey Gunderson, executive director of the National Comedy Center, said. “With this incredible archive we can provide a window into his creative process for generations to come.”
The National Comedy Center is an expansion of the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy, also based in Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, N.Y. An exhibit of Carlin’s personal effects, curated by Kliph Nesteroff, author of “The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy,” will open sometime in 2017.
Carlin famously joked, “Everybody’s gotta have a little place for their stuff. That’s all life is about. Trying to find a place for your stuff.”
And Kelly Carlin, the comedian’s daughter, who decided to donate her father’s personal effects to the National Comedy Center said, “There comes a time in one’s life when it’s time to let go of our parent’s stuff. … I am truly excited that there will be a place for my dad’s stuff — permanently.”